I just sent this email to a friend of mine who is not in a happy work position currently. This email represents to me why I love my friends: I get to give them advice that I need to be reminded of as well. Speaking the truth into someone else's life doesn't really work if you aren't living it in your own.
STOP BEING SO HARD ON YOURSELF.
You made the choice that you had to make at the time. I know plenty of people who have taken jobs just to have them, in fact, I am about to marry one. If it doesn’t work out, who freaking cares? It’s just a job. It pays your bills for now, so it’s fine. It also is giving you enough time to think and go after what you really want. You can’t go back and undo what you did in law school or how that all shook out… the universe handled that for you in the way it needed to be handled and there is no amount of “what-if-ing” that is going to change a damn thing.
I have this quote on my wall at work that I think applies here: “An ethical and evolved life also entails telling the truth about oneself and living out that truth.” So, you’ve done the first part: told the truth about the things that are shitty that you are unhappy with and the choices that you have right now. So, live out your truth kid. Step back and survey all of your skills and priorities. It’s clear to me that lifestyle is the most important to you… so make it the most important and don’t apologize for what your career is/should/could be.
I did that exact same thing when I took this job. I always thought that I would be a badass corporate litigator because I clearly have all of the skill sets for it. And yet, I wanted my OWN LIFE. I wanted a marriage and a family that work together towards being a family that functions. Because for me, that is going to take a lot of work/time. I would never be able to work 60 hours a week, let alone, 80. So I let that dream go, and focused on the fact that I get to have a life with tons of time off to invest in the people that I love. And I REFUSE TO APOLOGIZE FOR IT. When my other lawyer friends make fun of me for having every other Friday off or say that I never work, I know it is not true and sometimes it bothers me. But in the end, I know that I made my choice for a LIFE and I’d make that choice EVERYDAY forever and ever (AMEN). So yes, it might bother you if people give you shit for working part time or changing jobs again, but don’t apologize for living your truth. We’re too damn old for that horseshit.